Laser Skin Resurfacing Risks and Benefits
Laser skin resurfacing is usually a very safe procedure that can provide patients with many aesthetic benefits. As with any cosmetic procedure, patients should be mindful of possible laser skin resurfacing complications. Patients who are not good candidates for laser skin resurfacing are at a higher risk for complications. Disclosing your complete medical history to your dermatologist prior to undergoing the procedure will ensure that you are fully informed of the risks you face.
Benefits of Laser Skin Resurfacing
Undergoing a laser skin resurfacing procedure can greatly benefit the youthfulness and beauty of your skin. A laser peel can be performed to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, acne scarring, age spots, birthmarks, and blotchy patches on the skin. It can also improve the skin’s overall texture which can become rough and coarse as a result of accumulated sun damage. Deep laser skin rejuvenations can stimulate the production of new collagen in the lower dermis. A laser skin resurfacing procedure can also be employed for removing skin growths such as moles and warts, and even as a treatment for skin cancer in its earliest stages. Additionally, laser skin resurfacing is currently one of the most effective means of revising mild to moderate facial scarring resulting from either previous surgery or injury.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Risks and Potential Complications
Laser skin resurfacing procedures are generally safe when performed by a board-certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. A patient should, however; keep in mind that laser skin resurfacing complications such as infection or abnormal healing, though infrequent, do occur. Patients who are prone to scarring after a minor injury should not undergo laser skin resurfacing because of the risk of cosmetic damage. Cold sores, acne, and other skin disorders may increase the risk of laser skin resurfacing complications and this should be discussed with your dermatologist. Hyperpigmentation or permanent darkening of the skin is a prominent risk for darker skinned individuals seeking to undergo the procedure. An erbium laser or Fraxel® laser presents a slightly lower risk of permanent skin discoloration than does the use of a CO2 laser to perform the laser peel treatment. Your doctor may advise the use of an over-the-counter bleaching agent prior to undergoing laser skin resurfacing to further decrease the likelihood that this will occur. Hypopigmentation or permanent lightening of skin is also a possibility, but this is less common.
You should discuss your medical history at length with your dermatologist before undergoing laser skin rejuvenation. Drug allergies, medical conditions, especially connective tissue and immune disorders, previous surgeries, medications you’re currently taking, and any prior skin treatments, particularly Accutane® and chemical peels are potential sources of laser skin resurfacing complications. Smoking decreases the ability of the skin to heal, so smokers will have to quit for a period of two weeks before and two weeks after laser skin resurfacing. Your dermatologist will give you pre- and post-treatment guidelines to minimize the risk of complications and unwanted laser skin resurfacing side effects.
Speak with a Dermatologist in Your Area
To find out if the benefits of laser skin resurfacing will coincide with your aesthetic goals, and to determine the risk of laser skin resurfacing complications based on your medical history, consult a dermatologist. Visit the DocShop directory to find a qualified dermatologist in your area.